Intro: Penne Puttanesca
Years ago there was an Italian Restaurant in Seattle that served the best Puttanesca ever! Well I live in Vancouver Canada so I didn't want to make the drive every week but low and behold the Seattle Times came through with a recipe for the dish shared with them by the owner of the restaurant! Hope you love it, just remember not to skip any steps or omit any ingredients...
Step 1: The Marinara Base
4 medium cloves of garlic
20 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cold water 16 oz (2 cups) cold water
Step 2: Puttanesca Base
1/2 cup olive oil
8 flat anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
3 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained
24 pitted Kalamata olives
16 oz penne pasta (or ziti or mostaccioli)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Step 3: Make the Marinara Base
To prepare the marinara base: Combine the garlic and basil in a food processor or blender and chop finely. Add the salt, black pepper and water; process 30 seconds. Stir into the tomatoes and set aside.
Step 4: Prepare the Puttanesca Base
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the anchovies and cook, mashing with the back of a spoon, until disintegrated. Add the garlic, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute. Add the capers and olives and cook 20 seconds.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Stir the Marinara base into the Puttanesca base and simmer for about 5 minutes. Keep it warm while you cook the pasta in lots of boiling water according to package directions. Drain the pasta and put back into the hot pot. Add the sauce and Parmesan Cheese, stir well and transfer to a heated bowl for serving!
Step 6: Origin
I am told this recipe is from Old Italy where the "Ladies of the Evening" wanted something fast and tasty for their dinner...hence the name. This is a quick dish to prepare once you have the steps down and the taste is amazing. You can adjust the amounts of salt and oil. You will be surprised that you don't taste the Anchovies so don't omit them!